The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) attends the funeral of a man named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) in a small Western town. Flashing back 25 years, we learn Doniphon saved Stoddard, then a lawyer, when he was roughed up by a gang of outlaws led by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). As the territory’s safety hung in the balance, Doniphon and Stoddard, two of the only people standing up to him, proved to be very important, but different, foes to Valance. Stoddard opened a law office over the offices of the Shinbone Star, the newspaper which is run by a steadfast editor determined to expose the reality of the violence terrorising the territory and preserve the freedom of the press. Both Doniphon and Stoddard are in love with the same woman, Hallie (Vera Miles) who cooks in her immigrant parents’ restaurant and whom Stoddard teaches to read and write. When the newspaper prints a (mis-spelled) headline declaring Valance is defeated, he takes revenge – and then the peace-loving Stoddard takes up a gun … This is a film of polarities, exemplified by the civilising influence of Ransom opposed to Valance and Doniphon’s own belief in the power of the gun (which ironically opens up the possibility for bringing law and order to the place). Vera Miles is splendid as the illiterate love of both men:  What good has reading and writing done you? Look at you – in an apron!  An eloquent essay on the genre itself, this was not received warmly upon release. And yet its entire narrative provides the content for soon to be popular structuralist analysis of the western:  the East versus the West, old versus new, the wilderness versus civilisation, violence versus law and order, reality versus myth, the desert versus the garden. Never was a cactus rose deployed to such symbolic effect! John Ford made one of the great films but it took the rest of the world a little longer to catch up. Adapted from Dorothy Johnson’s short story by producer Willis Goldbeck and James Warner Bellah .

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Keith Chegwin 01/17/1957-12/11/2017

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Keith Chegwin – known to all his fans as Cheggers – has died aged just 60. Talent-spotted by Phil Collins’ mother June on Junior Showtime, he made his big screen debut playing Banquo’s son in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth. He established himself as an actor and comedian in scores of TV series including Robin Hood Junior but really entered the hearts of children through live TV probably due to his success fronting It’s a Knockout. BBC’s Multi-Coloured Swap Shop was Saturday morning for my generation. He and Noel Edmonds and Maggie Philbin (later his wife) were simply the only thing to watch. They even had a hit song as Brown Sauce! Then he had his own vehicle – Cheggers Plays Pop and got another live TV show with Saturday Superstore. I can’t think of a tougher gig than having to be ‘on’ for a three hour show without a break – where anything can go wrong and usually does. Cheggers was always ready with a quip or a joke. His career waned due to personal problems but he bounced back on The Big Breakfast – what better way to wake up in the Nineties than to find him knocking on your front door? Never less than vivacious and hilarious and ready for anything, he didn’t fear sending himself up and was lately seen on the Ricky Gervais show Life’s Too Short. By all accounts as nice a guy as you could hope to meet, this is a very sad day indeed for all of us for whom Cheggers was a vital part of our growing up. RIP Cheggers.

Johnny Hallyday 06/15/1943-12/06/2017

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La mort a eu lieu de la réponse de la France à Elvis, son propre roi du rock ‘n’ roll. Johnny Hallyday, né Jean-Philippe Smet en Belgique en 1943, avait 74 ans. Avec son magnifique cliquetis, son grognement graveleux et ses yeux bleus perçants, il a transformé la scène musicale francophone dès son arrivée en 1960. Jamais peur d’expérimenter, ses rencontres avec Les musiciens britanniques et américains tout en enregistrant à Londres tout au long des années 1960 ont élevé ses ambitions et ses accomplissements – À tout casser témoigne de ce désir de changer. Il est aussi l’un des rares musiciens à ne pas avoir peur de se moquer de Dylan – Cheveux longues, idees courtes! Un des préférés des cinéastes d’auteur, il a travaillé avec tout le monde, de Sergio Corbucci à Costa-Gavras et Godard, son charisme unique à l’écran, qui présente des films aussi variés que Le Spécialiste à DétectivePartie indélébile de la culture française, il était adoré et ne sera jamais oublié. Légende. Icône. Rocker. Star. Repose en paix.

 

Johnny chante en anglais une chanson écrit pour lui par Bono et Simon Carmody

Shashi Kapoor 03/18/1938-12/04/2017

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The great Indian actor Shashi Kapoor has died aged 79. A renowned Bollywood and Hindi star and scion of the great Kapoor theatre and film dynasty, he was part of the Western cinema audience’s world through his association with Merchant-Ivory and his role as Siddartha. He was a true legend, a charismatic and prolific performer, an accomplished filmmaker and hero to many.

David Cassidy 04/12/1950-11/21/2017

That beautiful man David Cassidy has died. Actor, composer, singer, performer and Seventies teen idol, he will never be forgotten. Always loved. XX

I remember April
When the sun was in the sky
And love was burning in your eyes

Nothing in the world could bother me
‘cos I was living in a world of ecstasy
But now you’re gone I’m just a daydreamer
I’m walking in the rain
Chasing after rainbows I may never find again

Life is much too beautiful to live it all alone
Oh how much I need someone to call my very own
Now the summer’s over
And I find myself alone
With only memories of you
I was so in love I couldn’t see
‘cos I was living in a world of make believe
But now you’re gone I’m just a daydreamer

I’m walking in the rain
Chasing after rainbows I may never find again

Life is much too beautiful to live it all alone
Oh how much I need someone to call my very own
I’m just a daydreamer
I’m walking in the rain
Chasing after rainbows I may never find again

Oh how much I need someone to call my very own

I’m just a daydreamer…

 

 

Tom Petty 10/20/1950-10/02/2017

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Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down
No, I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I